Mauritius Blue Pigeon (Alectroenas nitidissima)
… was a species of blue pigeon formerly endemic to the Mascarene island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. It has two extinct relatives from the Mascarenes and three extant ones from other islands. The bird was first mentioned in the 17th century and was described several times thereafter, but very few accounts describe the behaviour of living specimens. Several stuffed and at least one live specimen reached Europe in the 1700s and 1800s. Only three stuffed specimens exist today, and only one bird was ever depicted when alive. The species is thought to have become extinct in the 1830s due to deforestation and predation…
(read more: Wikipedia) (illustration by G. Haasbroek, ca. 1790)
Comparative illustration of the skeletal anatomy of Archaeopteryx and a modern pigeon by Gerhard Heilmann from ‘The Origin of Birds’ (1926)
“Gerhard Heilmann’s ‘Origin of Birds’ from 1926 is a remarkable book. Written by an illustrator-cum-amateur-biologist, it gained worldwide authority almost immediately upon publication. It is demonstrated that Heilmann’s skills as an artist, and his ability to use illustration to support his argument, were crucial in gaining this status. Furthermore, turning away from the dramatic confrontational model of palaeontological illustration helped Heilmann’s cause and made his monograph the leading word on the subject for well over forty years.”
Nieuwland, I.J.J. 2004. Gerhard Heilmann and the artist’s eye in science, 1912-1927. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 3, 2: 1-11 (pdf)
Some drawings I did for Rehua (a maori proverb as a short comic)
Young & Old Blue & Silver Dun Dragoons ( London Fancy). Plate from Cassell’s Pigeon Book ( 1870-1880). Artist J.Ludlow.
Own scan from original book.